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  1. #1
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    [EN] Frankfurt in flames as protests mount against ECB



    Early morning clashes broke out in Frankfurt on Wednesday between police and ‘Blockupy’ protesters, as the ECB (European Central Bank) opens its €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) headquarters in the city. Police fired teargas in an attempt to disperse the crowd, who set a police car on fire.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Dec 2010
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    ‘Blockupy’ Protests Break Out in Frankfurt as ECB Opens New Building

    While most parts of Frankfurt remained peaceful, a policeman on patrol said some police cars had been set on fire and some protesters burned tires. Police used water cannon on some protesters.


    By
    Natalia Drozdiak
    Updated March 18, 2015 6:44 a.m. ET

    FRANKFURT—Scattered incidents of violence broke out Wednesday across Germany’s financial capital alongside demonstrations against austerity timed to the inauguration of the European Central Bank’s new headquarters.

    While most parts of Frankfurt remained peaceful, a policeman on patrol said some police cars had been set on fire and some protesters burned tires. Police used water cannon on some protesters.

    ECB President Mario Draghi defended the bank’s policies at the inauguration ceremony, warning that moving toward more isolation and nationalization wouldn’t solve Europe’s problems.

    “European unity is being strained. People are going through very difficult times,” Mr. Draghi said in prepared remarks at the inauguration.

    “As an EU institution that has played a central role throughout the crisis, the ECB has become a focal point for those frustrated with this situation,” Mr. Draghi noted. “This may not be a fair charge—our action has been aimed precisely at cushioning the shocks suffered by the economy.”

    ‘European unity is being strained. People are going through very difficult times.’
    —ECB President Mario Draghi

    Still, given that the ECB covers all of the 19-member eurozone, “We must listen very carefully to what all our citizens are saying,” he said.

    “Blockupy” activists have announced plans to gather around the ECB’s new building—which cost more than €1 billion ($1.06 billion) to build, up from an earlier estimate of €850 million—to obstruct streets with sit-ins and blockades.

    The activists, joined by representatives from leftist political parties including Greece’s Syriza, Spain’s Podemos and Germany’s Die Linke, say the ECB is partly responsible for enforcing policies that activists say are impoverishing parts of Europe.

    Last week, the ECB launched a €60 billion monthly bond-purchase program, mostly centered on public debt, aimed at supporting the bloc’s economy and moving inflation toward the bank’s target of just below 2%. ECB officials, including Mr. Draghi, have in recent days credited the ECB’s stimulus moves with helping the eurozone economy turn the corner.

    The bank’s new headquarters on the banks of Germany’s Main river “reminds us of where we have come from and where we have come to. Of the horrors that can happen when we split apart, and the huge steps forward we can make when we work together,” Mr. Draghi said.

    “So let us not undo what has been achieved. Let us not hanker for the past,” Mr. Draghi said.

    —Brian Blackstone contributed to this article.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/blockupy...ing-1426667947
    Última edição por 5ms; 18-03-2015 às 11:20.

  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
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    Protesters, police clash near new European bank HQ in Frankfurt

    Nearly 90 police were injured by stones and unidentified liquids hurled by a violent minority from within the thousands-strong protest, police said. Seven police cars were set on fire, streets were blocked by burning stacks of tyres and rubbish bins, and shops were damaged in the city center.

    [Reportagens de outros veiculos falam em apenas 400-500 "manifestantes"]


    By John O'Donnell and Frank Siebelt

    FRANKFURT Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:36am EDT

    (Reuters) - Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt on Wednesday and set fire to barricades and cars, casting a pall over the ceremonial opening of the billion-euro skyscraper.

    Nearly 90 police were injured by stones and unidentified liquids hurled by a violent minority from within the thousands-strong protest, police said. Some protesters said they were injured when police used pepper spray.

    Seven police cars were set on fire, streets were blocked by burning stacks of tyres and rubbish bins, and shops were damaged in the city center. Dark smoke billowed in front of the ECB towers and across central Frankfurt.

    Police used water cannon to try to make a path through the mass of black-clad protesters to the entrance of the building, blocked off from the street by police barricades. Five people were detained and others taken into custody for questioning.

    ECB President Mario Draghi addressed the demonstrators in his speech at the opening ceremony but said they were missing the point by blaming the ECB.

    "European unity is being strained," he said, according to an advance text. "People are going through very difficult times. There are some, like many of the protesters outside today, who believe the problem is that Europe is doing too little.

    "But the euro area is not a political union of the sort where some countries permanently pay for others. It has always been understood that countries have to be able to stand on their own two feet – that each is responsible for its own policies. The fact that some had to go through a difficult period of adjustment was therefore not a choice that was imposed on them. It was a consequence of their past decisions."

    The protest organizers, a group called Blockupy - named after the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 - estimated that about 10,000 demonstrators were at the rally. Thousands came into the German financial capital from other parts of Europe.

    "Our protest is against the ECB, as a member of the troika, that, despite the fact that it is not democratically elected, hinders the work of the Greek government. We want the austerity politics to end," Ulrich Wilken, one of the organizers, said.

    "We want a loud but peaceful protest," he told Reuters.

    Blockupy says it represents grass-roots critics of supranational financial institutions including the "troika": the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, whose inspectors monitor countries such as Greece and Cyprus that have received international bailouts.

    The ECB is also influential as a provider of finance to the banks of struggling countries and has in recent weeks sanctioned a drip feed of extra emergency finance to Greece's lenders.

    Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis last week criticized ECB policy towards Athens as "asphyxiating", a criticism also made by the protest organizers.

    (Additional reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Erik Kirschbaum and Louise Ireland)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...0ME0QH20150318

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